Sick people need hugs not quarantining

*Disclaimer: I’m not advocating we all play a game of spitting into each other’s mouths and swallowing like that South Park Chicken Pox episode, but a lot of the health advice being circulated on television and in the newspaper is wrong.*

I think it’s bullshit that people go “I”m sick, stay away from me.” There are physical causes for illness and disease like direct exposure, but there are also emotional and mental causes like stress and loneliness and depression (because depression is an imbalance in life and not a disease). You do not get healthier by just treating one symptom, you get healthier by addressing the body as a whole.

As noted in this Mercola aricle, it’s the “terrain” not the microbe that determines whether you get sick or not – that is, it is the health of your body that is a better indicator of being healthy than the microbes entering your body. Dr. Mercola is an Osteopath in Chicago and that means that instead of the usual General Practitioner (also known as an Allopath), he is a physician of Osteopathy and looks at the body as a whole.

The problem with our health care system is that we have so many specialists that specialists start to look at the problem they were trained to see. So if you have pain in your hand and you go to see a hand specialist, they are likely to only consider your hand as opposed to your body as an entire functioning system.

It is no surprise nor novelty that pharmceutical industries fund the studies in advertisements (like when you hear how 1/3 of men prefer Brand A’s toilet paper fragance to Brand B) or that they control most of the medical care system. Think about it, medical equipment is “specialized” and needs to be perfect so if someone screws up due to “human error” and accidentally sews an extra stitch into Little Suzie for working inhumane hours at a stressful job, we can sue that big company and feel better having an extra $10,000 that we can use to spend on our unhealthy habits some more. Are you starting to see how it’s a bigger system thing? Bad health is a result of bad lifestyle as a result of bad food as a result of cheap business as a result of a money system as a result of complex systems as a result of the law of diminishing returns – only these are real results and not economic assumptions.

Now I understand there are far worse implications than having an extra stitch in your eyebrow, but that is why there is an importance on self-sustaining preventative care. Preventative care like eating a healthy diet that is right for your nutritional type (check out http://www.mercola.com or http://www.westonaprice.org), and learning about what it really means to take care of yourself. I’ll be honest, this is not an easy task and it takes some work – but keep in mind that the human body is meant to work. The human body needs exercise and nobody says that has to be exercising a military discipline of hitting the gym every day (though I admire those that do), but getting active and using your muscles and feeling things other than numb comfort will make a significant difference in your life. Personally, I like to cook – rice bags are good mobile exercise and if you’ve ever taken part in a family dinner you know how active you need to be to grate cheese for 20 people…or wash their dishes. The point is, we need to look at our entire lifestyles when talking about health because it’s not only physical, it’s also emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Now that brings me to hugging. I propose a significant difference that can change us for the better is to look at hugging and being sick as something negatively related to each other. That is, the more we hug the less often and worse we are sick.  Hugs produce a temporary – but significant (by my books) – change in your nervous system and you become more alert and in the state of (dare I say it?) love. You have an increase in your hormones like adrenalin which stimulates neurons firing which is something that scientists still haven’t quite figured out which I think is an empirical way of saying that’s a good thing.

I know this is not totally possible to be hugging it out, especially if you’re one of those unfortunate quarantined victims – but have you ever hugged yourself? Crazy talk, I know. It feels good. Try it. Hug yourself right now. There will be a time when you feel so alone and are very sad and remembering to hug yourself at that time would be a wise and comforting thing to do. Did you do it? Now not everybody will want a hug at any given time, but let this and this and maybe even this convince that little piece of doubt in you that there are people (like…Strangers!) out there that will hug you. Yes, I’m one of them.

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